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The geography of research and development activity in the U.S

  • Kristy Buzard
  • Gerald A. Carlino

This study details the location patterns of R&D labs in the U.S., but it differs from past studies in a number of ways. First, rather than looking at the geographic concentration of manufacturing firms (e.g., Ellison and Glaeser, 1997; Rosenthal and Strange, 2001; and Duranton and Overman, 2005), the authors consider the spatial concentration of private R&D activity. Second, rather than focusing on the concentration of employment in a given industry, the authors look at the clustering of individual R&D labs by industry. Third, following Duranton and Overman (2005), the authors look for geographic clusters of labs that represent statistically significant departures from spatial randomness using simulation techniques. The authors find that R&D activity for most industries tends to be concentrated in the Northeast corridor, around the Great Lakes, in California's Bay Area, and in southern California. They argue that the high spatial concentration of R&D activity facilitates the exchange of ideas among firms and aids in the creation of new goods and new ways of producing existing goods. They run a regression of an Ellison and Glaeser (1997) style index measuring the spatial concentration of R&D labs on geographic proxies for knowledge spillovers and other characteristics and find evidence that localized knowledge spillovers are important for innovative activity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 09-16.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:09-16
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  1. J. Vernon Henderson & Mohammad Arzaghi, 2005. "Networking Off Madison Avenue," Working Papers 05-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Duranton, Gilles & Henry G Overman, 2003. "Testing for Localisation Using Micro-Geographic Data," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 69, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gerald A. Carlino & Satyajit Chatterjee & Robert M. Hunt, 2006. "Urban density and the rate of invention," Working Papers 06-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. William C. Strange, 2009. "Viewpoint: Agglomeration research in the age of disaggregation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 1-27, February.
  6. Anselin, Luc & Hudak, Sheri, 1992. "Spatial econometrics in practice : A review of software options," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 509-536, September.
  7. Jess Gaspar & Edward L. Glaeser, 1996. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1756, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
  9. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
  10. Wolfgang Keller, 2002. "Geographic Localization of International Technology Diffusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 120-142, March.
  11. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  12. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
  13. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John, 2008. "How do spatial and social proximity influence knowledge flows? Evidence from patent data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 258-269, September.
  14. Feldman, Maryann P. & Audretsch, David B., 1999. "Innovation in cities:: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 409-429, February.
  15. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  16. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Market Value and Patent Citations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 16-38, Spring.
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